2020 | short-movie

New York: 16th March 2020.

A reflection on the meanings and implications of the idea of normality.

original text / Silvia Susanna
Director of Photography / Silvia Susanna
First Camera Assistant / Simone Montacci
Second Camera Assistant / Gabriele Camilli
Original Music / Giuseppe Canegiallo
Proofreading Subtitles / Sara Aoun, Katia Abi Gerges (fra), Faye Yue (chn), Silvia Susanna (ita)  

completion date: 05.04.2020
presentation: 05.06.2020 at Span agency
release: 29.08.2020 world premiere at NòtFilmFest 2020



Home Cultural Home

2019 | research

Home Cultural Home is an independent research project that examines a worldwide phenomenon concerning cultural programs established in inhabited houses and run by the cohesion of permanent and temporary inhabitants. It focuses on the current role undertaken by some inhabitants in making their home as a space for cultural production and public arena. It aims at understanding and unveiling backgrounds, contexts and impacts within their relative community and the city.
The investigation is advancing through interviews, meetings, debates, reflections and encounters with the protagonists of these actions.

︎ kick off at 2.73 

︎ research presentation at Demanio Marittimo: Eurotopia event curated by Cristiana Colli e Pippo Ciorra

︎interview with Jean Lorin Sterian Schlosspost 
Akademie Schloss Solitude


Home Tours

in progress | agency
with Alessandro Fonte, Ottonie von Roeder,  Anastasia Eggers

Home Tours is a travel agency that offers touristic experiences at the traveller’s own home. The homes of the travellers are turned into holiday destinations and the travellers are guided through a personalized experience in which they can change their perspective, travel through sound and objects and, become part of a new storytelling within their daily environment. When booking the travel, the traveller can feed the agency with personal information regarding themselves and their home in order to receive an immersive experience taking into account personal preferences and the character of the home. The traveller can also choose the character of the experience with diverse foci, such as adventure, relaxation or culture. For now the travel agency and the offered experiences are still under development and can be booked from late summer onwards.

The team of Home Tours consists of Silvia Susanna, Anastasia Eggers, Ottonie von Roeder and Alessandro Fonte, a group of artists, architects and designers based between Rome, Berlin and Leipzig.

Home Tours is supported by the Goethe-Institut in Milan and correlates with its years topic by questioning conventional tourism related to sustainability aspects. Together with the Goethe-Institut there is a presentation of the agency planned for the coming Milan Design Week.


The Picnic Pavilion

2019 | Parallel the 58th International Art Exhibition May You Live In Interesting Times
co-curated with Gabriel Adams, Isadora Tomasi and Tobia Tomasi  in collaboration with Casa Punto Croce, Venice (Italy)

The Picnic Pavilion was a rogue, experimental, exhibition combined with a series of events which re-contextualize artistic practice and art tourism in the heart of Venice during the 58th International Art Exhibition May You Live In Interesting Times, known as La Biennale di Venezia 2019.

The Picnic Pavilion acted as a platform to generate and realize new works within the city. It aimed at breaking the consumer based miasma which often accompanies visits to Venice through artistic actions. The ethos of The Picnic Pavilion was to contribute to the quality of everyday life in Venice, as well as to our humanity in general.

Why? Did you know that it is illegal to picnic in Venice?
Although all great ideas came about while either cooking or eating together, the Venetian public decorum has forbidden it. Therefore, we used the picnic as a symbolic form for a public and convivial program in order to re-contextualize artistic practice and art tourism in the heart of Venice during the Venice Art Biennale.

While the outside world looked with endless adoration on La Biennale di Venezia, the reality of the city and its inhabitants have a different story. They have to coexist with both Disneylandification and environmental degradation, all accompanied by the visitors’ delirious pressure of “I can’t miss it.”

The Picnic Pavilion offered the cure, or at least some shelter from this storm, with its inherent delirium! The Picnic Pavilion took on Art and invigorates the simple ritual moments of daily life where we come together to share a meal. In addition to the mix of contemporary art, urban projects, and interventions into city social life, an ongoing series of collaborative culinary events (such as picnics, dinner parties, apero, events) will take place within the experimental and underground ~ but above water ~ Casa Punto Croce.
Casa Punto Croce is an experimental cultural program in Venice which has been taking place in an inhabited apartment for 7 years. Born from the need to generate informal events, spontaneous exhibitions, and instinctive performances, its impetuous projects have made waves across the cultural Venetian agenda.

Participants within the Picnic Pavilion responded to an open call by presenting their work, making event or happening, creating or participating in a cooking project, or organising a picnic as an open invitation to art.

The Picnic Pavilion was an auto-produced, user generated project that operated on the engagement of all participants, both the artists and the audience. Outside of the exhibition and opening event, the project operated on improvisation and self driven initiatives.

Collectively we made this project what it was, but a huge thanks has to be addressed to the project Pranzetto by Gabriel Adams, and to Punto Croce without them the all Picnic Pavilion wouldn’t exist.

pictures by Rossella Damiani and Gabriel Adams



Report from [Home at Arsenale]

a curated library addressing the notions of home and dwelling

Pavilion of Slovenia at the 15. Architecture Venice Biennale 1

project commissioned by Matevž Čelik 
curators Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič
curators’ assistant Silvia Susanna

1.2._picture by Flavio Coddou
3._picture by Uroš Rustja
        Temporary curated collections are never universal visions, but occasions for materially inhabiting some argumentations.

        In the case of [Home at Arsenale], the curated collection of books was composed by a series of 350 volumes selected by the 27 invited participants* asked to suggest a list of titles addressing the notions of home and dwelling.
Through an open disposition that follows the Warburg’s library principle, [Home at Arsenale] set a series of possible dialogues among books’ content, beyond the books’ genre and participants’ lists, and proposed an open network of the notions on home and dwelling. However, visitors were free to browse, read, photograph and relocate the volumes and invited to draw, extract, manipulate, readdress as well as to criticize, revision, or re-contextualize narratives, ideas, concepts, theories, methods, tools, practices, projects reported in the books.
So in the end, as Michel de Certeau affirmed, the text gets meaning in relation to the reader: “Whether it is a question of newspapers or Proust, the text has a meaning only through its readers; it changes along with them; it is ordered in accord with codes of perception that it does not control.”2
Accordingly, books were only potential sources, encouragements and references for further discovers, researches, confrontations, critics upon and beyond the notion of home and dwelling.

        In [Home at Arsenale] each book was the unit of the pavilion: a paradigmatic instrument for confronting the idea of home as a bodily realm and as a cultural, linguistic, immaterial, symbolic sphere.

        On a physical level, books - mainly made of paper and written human language - reflect precise contextual conditions (time and space). Through their material structure: the paper, binding, and printing they physically transmit spatial and dated aims as well as significances for which they have been made. In Europe, before the movable type invention (1455) the book was a precious artisanal, hand-made product. With Gutenberg, it became the vehicle of the Protestant Reform and French Revolution. Today, from a digital perspective, either as a cheap pocket volume or as an art publication is primarily recognised as an offline media.  
        The digitation process dissolved its materiality and facilitated a faster free production as well as a wider distribution of texts. But rather than instigating some fetishistic battles for the preservation of book as object, it’s necessary to consider as the media theorist, and philosopher Boris Groys explained in an article4 that: “there is a tension between our material, physical, corporeal mode of existence - which is temporary and subjected to time - and our inscription into cultural archives that are much more stable than our own bodies. (...)” And certainly, we still have to confront with them.
        On the other hand, books witness and report a wide range of discourses produced in different times and distinct geographical areas and as Foucault noted, “is a false unity, and its boundaries are unstable and permeable. The frontiers of a book are never clear-cut. Every book is caught up in a system of references to other books, other texts, other sentences: it is a node within a network and its unity is variable and relative, we must rid ourselves of a whole mass of notions, each of which, in its own way, diversifies the theme of continuity”3.
        A strong node of [Home at Arsenale] network was The Poetics of Space as it was the most selected book. In his essay, published in 1957, Gaston Bachelard wrote about the influences of the poetic imagination through the space. He wrote: (…) our house is our corner of the world (…) it is our first universe, a real cosmos in every sense of the word. (…)”.        
        Nowadays, empathising with such statement corresponds to sincerely question ourselves as inhabitants first and as architects later: how and in which conditions are we establishing our first universe? Of course, this is a big question that this modest text can not certainly answer, but some tracks can be found in the language, the origin of the words and in their semantic drift. In English, the distinction between home and house in a way differentiates the emotional condition from the construction realm. In more ancient languages the distinction let emerge also the political and social circumstances. For instance: "Domus" in Latin designates not only the building, but also the social entity embodied by the owner the "dominus", while “Aedes” expressed the physical entity. More interestingly the Greek "oìkos" (the basic unit of society in most Greek city-states) indicates not only the building, but also the family and the owned property that included slaves, animals and so on. It is in fact, from Oikos that comes the "Oikos-nomia": the discipline that deals with the administration of the house. Although hidden in the root of other apparently distant words, the idea of home and house was already intertwined with the economic and political sphere, as well as with the social and cultural structures of west sedentary populations.
        From this perspective “establishing our first universe as a real cosmos in every sense of the word” means emotionally and phisically confronting, experiencing and answering to the current specific and global conditions. From this perspective, any spatial expressions, either in a spontaneous or in a consciously organized form, has an impact on the inhabitant imagination, both  in relation with their relative social, cultural and political contexts, and also with the global economical system. Thus the Palestinian camps reported in the books of Eyal Weisman, Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal or the housing program of Tlatelco by Mario Pani for settling 100.000 inhabitants, or the speculative Buckminster Fuller ideas in Space, or the series of architecture revealed in The Un-private House are material translations of a position in territories where local and global forces clash, and material and virtual spaces overlap. 
        In fact, despite its intangibility, the virtual world doesn’t move so abstractly. The sociologist Saskia Sassen explained how the highly digitised complex of economic operations benefitted from the physical concentration of local intermediation systems that gave birth to what she called Global Cities.
This urban phenomenon emerged during the 80’s by this rapidly expanding and increasingly networked sectors, but also by neo-liberal political positions that deregulated, privatisated and expulsed land and people from the system.
A discourse that echoes Lefebvre The Production of Space where he affirmed that “(…) Our knowledge of the material world is based on the concepts defined in terms of the broadest generality and the greatest scientific (i.e. having a content) abstraction. Even if the links between these concepts and the physical realities to which they correspond are not always clearly established, we do know that such links exist and that the concepts or theories they imply - energy, space, time - can be neither conflated nor separated from one another. (…) When we evoke 'energy', we must immediately note that energy has to be deployed within a space. When we evoke 'space', we must immediately indicate: what occupies that space and how it does so: the deployment of energy in relation to 'points' and within a time frame. When we evoke 'time', we must immediately say what it is that moves or changes in isolation is an empty abstraction, likewise energy and time. (…) If indeed spatial codes have existed, each characterizing a particular spatial social practice, and if these codifications have been produced along with the space corresponding then the job of theory is to elucidate their rise, their role, and their demise. (…)”. 
         For concluding, if books were unveiled by an opening in the wooden structure, the dark side of the pavilion, remembered us that the absence of ideas, the ones that didn’t emerge or need to be defined yet occupy a space that need to be discover. Agamben, on his essay What is the contemporary? 4 said that for experiencing contemporaneity: it is necessary to feel the gap. "Contemporary is the person who receives the bundle of darkness from his time in full face".

*full list at the end of the page

1. The absence of a building made for the Slovenian Presentation was an occasion for exploring the notions of home and dwelling through a time and site-specific installation operating as a home. The current houses of the national pavilions in Giardini represent the political relations between Italy and the other countries during the XX century. When around 1907 Biennale aimed at transforming Giardini into an international exhibition, it established a collaboration with other nations. At that time, Slovenia didn’t exist.
In 1988 the lack of exhibition space was declared and Slovenia got its independence in 1991.
In a way, the current geography of Giardini emerged from the coexistence of international political dynamics and the lack of space.
At the beginning of the XXI century, a growing participation request forced to create a new system which allows integrating official and collateral presences within the city. In fact, from 1995 the real estate of linked to the national pavilions became a system.
(I Giardini: Topografia di uno spazio espositivo, Federica Martini, Vittoria Martini article part of Venezia Venezia, 55 Esposizione Internazionale d'arte La Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione del Cile, 2013, Barcelona)

2. The Practice of Everydaylife
(L'invention du Quotidien)
Michel De Certau, 1980 Paris

2. The Archaeology of Knowledge (L’archeologie du Savoir)
Michel Foucault, 1969 Paris

3. Entering the Flow: Museum between Archive and Gesamtkunstwerk
Boris Grois, 2013 e-flux Journal #50

4. What is the contemporary? (Che cos'è il contemporaneo?)
Giorgio Agamben, 2008 Milan

This text is the result of six months spent within the pavilion with visitors and a series of conversations with the participants of [Home at Arsenale]:

Stephen Bates / SERGISON BATES architects / UK
Matija Bevk, Vasa J. Perović / BEVK PEROVIĆ architects / Slovenia
Tatiana Bilbao / TATIANA BILBAO ESTUDIO, architect / Mexico
Jan Boelen / Z33, curator / Belgium
Dominique Boudet / architecture critic / France
Arno Brandlhuber / BRANDLHUBER+, architect / Germany
Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič / dekleva gregorič architects /
Slovenia Sofia von Ellrichshausen, Mauricio Pezo / PEZO VON ELLRICHSHAUSEN, artists and architects / Chile Jesko Fezer / IFAU UND JESKO FEZER, architect / Germany
Konstantin Grcic / KGID, designer / Germany
Juan Herreros / ESTUDIO HERREROS, architect / Spain
Tomaž Krištof / STUDIO KRIŠTOF, architect / Slovenia
Jan Liesegang / RAUMLABORBERLIN, architect / Germany
Hrvoje Njirić / NJIRIC+ arhitekti / Croatia
Michael Obrist / FELD72, architect / Austria / Italy
Rok Oman, Špela Videčnik / OFIS architects / Slovenia
Marjetica Potrč / architect and artist / Slovenia / Germany
Pascale and Christian Pottgiesser / CHRISTIAN POTTGIESSER ARCHITECTURESPOSSIBLES, architects / France
Alice Rawsthorn / design critic / UK
Emmanuel Rubio / literary and architecture critic / France
Jurij Sadar, Boštjan Vuga / SADAR+VUGA, architects / Slovenia
Irénée Scalbert / architecture critic / UK / France
Brett Steele / AA, architect and architectural editor / UK
Yui Tezuka, Takaharu Tezuka / TEZUKA architects / Japan
TYIN tegnestue / architects / Norway
Aleš Vodopivec / architect / Slovenia
Maruša Zorec / ARREA, architect / Slovenia